Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sneaking a peak...

Here's a sneak peak at the set from stage right during intermission. 

"The Music Man" opens tomorrow morning with a "matinee" for about 850 students from around the county.  Yeah, I said morning. . . .  an 8:30 a.m. show!!! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuning up...

Here we are, reporting for orchestra rehearsal and tuning up.  The orchestra is set up just off stage right (adjacent to the scenery shop), and there's JUST enough room for all the chairs, music stands, amps, mics, and a million electrical cords.  Actors, too, are here waiting in the wings for their entrances.  It's a tight fit.  It's not glamorous.  But it is fun.  The percussionist, just to my right, has two bags of candy which he shares throughout the evening, by throwing bite-size Butterfingers, Snickers, etc. at us.  And the sax/clarinet player to my left started wearing a variety of hats (even a French wig) last night to ward off any boredom that might creep in.  Hilarious.

We can watch the show on three TV monitors that are set up for our viewing.  The cast has a TV monitor on stage to watch the director. "The Music Man" opens this weekend!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Another couple inches...

It snowed very lightly all evening long...and by morning we had a couple of inches. 

The curious little rabbits have been out to track the new snow. 

And the melt has already begun.  Thank goodness for the return of  some blue skies, sunshine, and no wind.  The morning is fresh and beautiful.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's a great day...

It's snowing...again.
It's blowing...again.

I can't see the valley.
I can't see the mountains.
I can't see the highway.

But it's a great day to be inside,
To keep the fire stoked,
To practice the key-board bass,

To complete a few more rows of knitting,
To read and write some e-mails,

To start a new blogpost,
To catch up on some reading...

Yes, it's a great day. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014


You fly in with such abruptness from the north;
 And even though I think I’m watching,... I can’t see you,
But, I hear your gusts nudge the northwest windows
And your whistles blow across the chimney flue.

My old pine tree is leaning and waving rhythmically;
Truth be told, he’s trying to politely wave goodbye.
Cottonwood branches broken from the snowstorm
Now lay scattered on ground that is brown and dry.

You’ve tossed my warm woolen coattails,
You’ve tossed by shoulder-length hair,
You’ve melted the snow, reduced sculpted drifts,
What more havoc do you plan to share?

Monday, February 17, 2014

From balmy to blizzard...

I got visitors (my brother's girlfriend and two exchange students) over the weekend...and one of the places they wanted to visit was Jackson Hole.  There was NO WAY I was sending them on their own in their car over Togwotee Pass to Jackson.  The mountains have been getting a lot of snow lately, and who knows what the conditions might be at any given moment with snow and wind on the mountain.  So, I loaded them up in my Toyota Tundra pickup. 

It was sweatshirt weather.  We stopped at the Red Rocks for a picture of the two girls, exchange students from Germany and Japan, and it was almost balmy (for winter in WY, anyway).  However, once we got to Dubois, it was raining lightly.  The sky soon turned from delightful to dreary.  As we headed west out of Dubois, the weather and road conditions changed significantly.  We were soon riding on slick, snow-packed roads, with near white-out conditions as we topped the pass.   Man, that's hard on the eyes, trying to keep the delineation poles in sight and stay on the road when the light is so flat.  Should have brought my ski goggles along and slipped them over my glasses! (I've done that once; it's a great look.)  We stopped for another picture, but it was definitely coat weather here.

Slow and steady...we made our way to the Flats just east of Jackson, when we came upon a SUV with Texas plates that was stuck in a 5 foot snowbank.  Seriously, the roads were a bit slushy and icy, but I have no idea how this car got into this mess.  It looked like it was trying to jump the snowbank.  It was was high-centered on top of the bank!!  Two other vehicles had already stopped, and about 5 guys were there trying to dig them out with a shovel.  The weather conditions were nasty; wet snow and strong wind. The guys had made some good headway in getting snow out from under the front tires, but it was going to take a lot more work.  I knew I had a tow rope in the back and 4-wheel drive, so I turned around to stop and help them, quite sure I could pull them out in a couple minutes.  The guys were a little hesitant about accepting more help, but I insisted I could get them out quickly.  As I was getting out the tow rope, the guys managed to push the car down the slope a couple feet, so that the back tires were on the pavement, but the front tires were buried again.  I said, "Really, let's hook up this rope and let me pull you out."  In a minute they were pulled free and all four tires were back on the ground.  As this was all taking place, a policeman from Jackson showed up along side the road, but ended up just watching that everyone got on their way safely; he didn't even get out of his vehicle.  After I got my gear all packed away and got the truck turned around to head into Jackson, we passed the parked policeman; he just gave us a big smile.  You can usually count on WY folks to lend a hand.   (Sorry, no pictures.  I was in rescue mode.)

By the way, I wonder how the story from the Texans will sound...will they actually say that a truckload of girls stopped and pulled them out of the snowbank and got them on their way??? 


As soon as we got into Jackson, we got tickets to ride the horse-drawn sleighs into the National Elk Refuge.  It was COLD day to do this, especially because of the wind and blowing snow, but it was so interesting to get close to the elk and hear all the information about the refuge and the elk population (expecting 7,000) as the animals move in and out of this warm valley.  One thing that was especially interesting was that we saw several pairs of males "sparing" for fun. It's a macho thing.  But, their antlers can easily do some fatal damage.

Then of course, I had to get a picture of the gals under one of  the antler arches in the town square. 

We had lunch at the Sweetwater Deli -- fabulous! Then we looked around town a bit before heading back over the mountain. 

The ride home over the pass was even worse--more snow and wind.  I was glad to be following another vehicle so I could more easily follow the winding road; another vehicle was following close behind me, so we "caravaned" for about 2.5 hours, going only 35 mph at best.   We almost came to a stop twice because of lack of visibility.  The windshield wipers were getting caked with ice and making horrible noises.  After listening to that racket for countless miles, we ignored it by singing American folk and patriotic tunes.  We laughed--we sure have forgotten a lot of verses over the years.  But we could nail the words to the chorus. Maybe we need to do that a little more often.

Once we got back to Dubois, it was dry roads again.  Yippee!  We could relax again and finish the trip without the "white knuckles."

This was one of the rare trips I've made when I haven't been able to see the Grand Tetons...and that's a bit of a disappointment.  But, we saw moose and deer along side the road and elk and 2 coyotes in the Elk Refuge.  So that helped make up for the lack of visible mountain scenery.  It's always interesting when you make a winter trip to Jackson.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Knitting hearts...

Nancy S. directed me to a link for a fun knit...called Heart Tawashis by Julie Tarsha.  Here's a great way to use up your cotton yarn on fun little heart-shaped scrubbies for the bathroom.  The pattern includes varied skills: knitting, wrap and turn, three-needle bind-off, crocheting, and mattress stitch.  Here's a quick "thank you!" to Cheryl, who helped me with the crochet stitches and figuring out a confusing step in the directions.

Anyway, I got the first one finished...and I think I'll make a few more. 

Hope you all have lovely Valentine's Day.  Will you treat yourself to something special?  Chocolate? A new cast-on?  A relaxing cup of tea?  A dinner out? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Practicing for the musical

I'm pretty excited to be playing in the orchestra for CWC's spring musical production of "The Music Man."  I love musical theater, and overall, playing in the orchestra is a fun experience. (Wish I could see the show and play at the same time!)  I love hearing the music...especially as the orchestra gets a couple of rehearsals under its belt and the performance gets tighter.  Our second rehearsal comes up this weekend.  The following rehearsal will be a run-through with the cast singing.   Practice, practice...  I'm playing keyboard bass.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If I was still a skier...

Today's view of the Wind River Range.  All the peaks are getting heavy snowfall.
If I still longed to hit the slopes on downhill skis, I would be pretty thrilled that the mountains here and around Jackson Hole are getting another foot of snow.  Oooo...the fresh powder and the freshly groomed trails would be fun.  And if it was a sunny day, it didn't get much better!

Sunset over the Grand Tetons as I'm heading back home from a trip in 2012.
At the time, I didn't care so much that I had to get up at 3:00 a.m. to catch a bus at 4:00 a.m. with  for a 3 hour ride with high school kids on snow-packed roads to Jackson Hole.  I didn't care so much that those bench-style yellow bus seats were horribly uncomfortable.  Once we got to Teton Village,  I didn't care so much that at times it was freezing cold, snowing, or a white-out on the mountain,  or that we fell down so many times on slopes that were icy, moguls that were too deep, or slopes that were too steep for our abilities.  We laughed and scored each other on the falls; although, you didn't want to be the one who scored a "yard sale," where all your friends were picking up your gloves, hat, goggles, poles, and retrieving a ski while you were digging yourself out of a snowbank!  But if you made a successful run on a difficult slope,  just think of the bragging rights you had on the trip home!  Oh yeah, and it seemed OK that after a hard day of skiing, we dined on a McDonald's hamburger and fries before boarding the bus for the 3 hour ride home in wet and/or sweaty gear. Plus, we had to get up early for work the next day.  No problem.  Couldn't wait to go again.

IF I was still a skier... I would care about all those things.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Let the competition begin...

Are you all watching or planning to watch your favorite winter Olympic events?  The skating, especially the pairs, is my very favorite, but I enjoy most of the other competitions as well. Did you see that little 15 year old skater from Russia do her spins? Wow, talk about agile!  As you can imagine, the needles stopped clicking during these spectacular performances...and then clicked like crazy while waiting for scores or during commercials.

This Lizard Scarf will be my Olympic knit...and it fits well into the category of challenging, of having to keep my focus, of hoping for a personal best.  However, I won't be vying for a spot on the awards stand... I'm pretty sure I will still be on the slope when the race is finished, and they are ready to douse the flame. 

The red and purple highlighter tape marks the spot where I am in the chart.  As you can see, this scarf will have a saw-toothed design along the sides.  This pattern is pretty similar to the Dragon Scarf I made earlier, but this one will be much shorter in length, and the diamonds are all the same. Still a challenge! Do you have an Olympic knitting project?? 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Brrr...put another log on the fire!

The wind sculpted a nice little drift in front of the deer.
It doesn't look so terribly cold and miserable here (like places to the east), but those subzero temps moved in again...but even colder.  At 8:20 a.m. (Wed. morning) I decided to check the outdoor temp, and it was -19 degrees.  As the sun has had time to warm us up a little, it's now -11, with the "feel like" temp of -25.  Sorry, Chicago and New York, but a doozy is coming your way! 

For now, I'm happy to put another log on the fire. 

...and continue knitting the Lizard Scarf.  I've already had to frog back  rows 3 times because I missed a YO.  I'm usually very careful, so I guess I'll be counting stitches on every row for a while to make sure that doesn't happen again...or at least so frequently.

Later I have to get out in the weather...but I have some pretty knitted scarves to keep me warm!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Luxury yarn in the stash...

Lace-weight yarn on size 1 needles.

Yes, I have some luxury yarn that I purchased last June when I went to the Wool Market in Estes Park, Colorado.  It's been patiently waiting for me to pick it up and get started on a Lizard Scarf, which is designed to take exactly one ball of this fabulous yarn: Qiviuk.  It was purchased from Windy Valley Muskox in Alaska.  This ball is 45% Qiviuk, 45% Extrafine Merino Wool, and 10% Mulberry Silk.  Ohhhh, so soft. was on sale, so I thought it was a great way to get a little Qiviuk in the knitting diet.  I've cast on, and have started the first few rows of this lacy scarf. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Knitting a Rosette

One reader asked for the directions for the Rosette, and perhaps there are others that would consider making this little embellishment, if you just had instructions.  Can't you see this on a headband, a hat, a purse, a scarf?
This is lace weight yarn left over from knitting a Hitchhiker Scarf.

Well, here you go; it's pretty easy and quick.

Yarn and Needles: DK, sock weight, or lace weight yarn will work.  But go up a couple needle sizes from what's recommended for the yarn.  For instance, I used size 4 needles on both the sock weight and lace weight yarn, but you could experiment further...

CO 112 sts.

Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K2, *K1, slip this st back onto left needle, lift the next 8 sts over this st and then knit the first st again, K2*; repeat from * 9 more times.  That will get you all the way through the stitches on your needle.  Now you should have 32 sts.

Work short-rows as follows:
Short-row 1:  K24, wrap and turn, K24.
Short-row 2: K16, wrap and turn, K16.
Short-row 3: K8, wrap and turn, K8.

Break yarn.  Thread tail through rem sts, pull tightly to create a rosette, and secure with a few over-cast stitches.

(Wrapping a stitch: Work to turn point, slip next stitch purlwise to right needle.  Bring yarn to front.  Slip same stitch back to left needle.  Turn work and bring yarn in position for next stitch, and you have wrapped the stitch as you do so.)

Nancy S. suggested attaching a drapery ring (the size of a nickle or quarter) to the back so that you can slip it in on and off scarves.  Love the idea...and that's what I plan to do.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Oh, to be a Bronco fan...

Oh my goodness, we Bronco Fans are speechless.  That was a brutal game!  The Seattle Seahawks came out and dominated the Super Bowl.  Broncos couldn't do anything to get their game on!  That was a rough one to watch!  Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it did.  The Seahawks had the midas touch yesterday, and they deserve the big celebration! New Jersey and New York really put on a spectacular show.  Well, there's always next year...

I thought I would keep my needles clicking through the game...not so much.  I was up, pacing, and sharing choice words with my if I were right there in the stadium.  However, before and after the game I tackled a small project...knitted Rosettes.

This one is made from scrap sock yarn on size 4 needles.

This one is made from scrap lace yarn on size 4 needles.
I had not tried something like this before, so the challenge was part of the allure.  They were easy and fun to make.  The directions suggested placing a pearl button in the center of the rosette, but I think I might place a real pearl instead.  I haven't finished weaving in the ends or finishing the back, and I was surprised that the directions don't include how to finish the back.  Do I sew on a pin (clasp) or knit an I-cord loop on the back to run a scarf through... or what??  Any ideas out there??  The picture on the pattern shows this rosette attached to a beautifully knit lacy scarf...but how??